October 1, 2013 | Stephanie

I doubt using more rocket fuel is environmentally friendly. But it is pleasing to see one rocket company addressing the expendable nature of space rockets.

SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket will use extra fuel burns to slow down the descent of the rocket's first stage so that it can land intact and be reused. Reusing parts of them would also make rockets more affordable. I think these are exciting first steps in solving the problems caused by junk from rockets.

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Rocket launching

The first stage of the rocket represents three-quarters of its total cost.

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Image: Flickr/Matthew Simantov

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